The DIY science revolution...

From biohackers with big ambitions to patients building their own medical devices and apps for managing their health conditions, the world of DIY science will be on show at SPARKS, a new free exhibition open in the Deloitte Lounge at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin until 18th February.

SPARKS, a travelling exhibition that has already been shown in 33 European countries, aims to stimulate conversations between citizens, scientists, policy makers and education professionals in order to encourage a shared responsibility for science in a way that makes it relevant to the needs of society.

SPARKS shows how ordinary people are harnessing science in all sorts of ways, from patient innovation to tackling public health challenges such as air pollution, antibiotic resistance and disease outbreaks. Equipped with low-cost sensors, smartphone apps and the ability to share information with communities online, these DIY science pioneers are challenging our ideas of what science and our societies will look like in the future.

The EU-funded project was launched in 2016 to show Europeans citizens how they can get involved in science through an experience that could be shared by visitors across Europe, beyond linguistic boundaries.

Visitors will be presented with a diverse selection of objects, photographs, film and contemporary art pieces that showcase stories from individuals and community groups who are breaking boundaries in how we think about research innovation. SPARKS also contemplates where DIY science and medicine might lead in the future and what this could mean for all our lives.

A local case study from Ireland demonstrating responsible research and innovation in practice will be included in the exhibition, showcasing the work of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin. This study, the first of its kind in the world, directly compares the ageing experience of people with an intellectual disability to the general ageing population.

The Science Espresso talk series will run alongside SPARKS throughout January and February 2018 at Science Gallery Dublin, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with experts representing different areas of research. The first talk in the series takes place at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 9th January and features Trinity College Dublin’s Mary McCarron, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Ageing and Intellectual Disability at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, as part of the official launch of SPARKS in Science Gallery Dublin.

SPARKS is free and open to the public in the Deloitte Lounge at Science Gallery Dublin until 18th February 2018.

Funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement Number 665825.

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